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Dell Inspiron Duo Arriving Next Week

David Gilbert


Dell Inspiron Duo Arriving Next Week - for £449

UPDATE: Dell has announced it will be shipping the Duo from December 1 for a basic price of $549 in the States however a UK release price or date has yet to be announced. Though we have to say a price of around £350 sounds pretty good to us. More updates to follow as we get them.

UPDATE 2: The cost of the Duo Inspiron in the UK will £449 according to PC Pro which sounds pretty good compared to the iPad (£429) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab (£450 and dropping) considering you get a netbook and a tablet in one. However it does seem a bit pricey compared to the $549 (£340) they are expected to pay in the States. Hmmmmm.....

Dell is set to unveil one of the most anticipated pieces of technology into the laptop market next week. The Dell Inspiron Duo is a netbook combined with a tablet in a very unique way – via a swivel screen that flips depending on whether you want a tablet or a netbook functionality.

It has been widely reported that Dell will put the device on sale from its website as soon as this week. It is believed that Dell will reveal details about pre-sale orders at some stage later this week before the dual device goes on sale officially next week.

The unique looking device was revealed in all its glory on November 4 when Dell put a teaser trailer online to whet people’s appetites for the immenient launch. While the flip screen aspect of the Inspiron Duo is new to the market, other tablet/netbook combinations have been tried before – such as with the HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea. The Dell Inspiron Duo will have a 10in screen, run Windows 7 and packs a powerful dual-core Atom processor.

When the laptop was shown off in September a Dell executive, Dave Zavelson, had a not-very-cloaked pop at the limited uses of tablet-only devices, such as the iPad. “There are times that you have to do work. Tablets are great for entertainment, but they aren't exactly conducive to productivity.” It was only then did he reveal the hidden keyboard.

There almost certainly will be a market for a combination of a netbook and tablet but a lot will depend on whether Dell has got the flip action of the screen working smoothly - and strong enough to keep working smoothly – which is something we will only find out when we get our hand on one.


November 17, 2010, 1:28 pm

Price price price price, most importantly the price that Dell decides on will be very telling! Ideally it should be around £350, as it should obviously have a premium over a standard netbook but they really need to undercut the iPad price to tempt people away

Luan Bach

November 17, 2010, 2:12 pm

@Steplh, Dell has been trying to push their margin and "brand perception" up so I'd guess it will be north of £500.


November 17, 2010, 3:04 pm

@Luan Bach - I hope not, despite its party trick of coverting to a tablet it is still not a laptop (having an atom processor) so it should not be priced as such!


November 17, 2010, 3:09 pm

I wouldnt be surprised if it is North of £500 but a quick glance on Dell's site at other Inspirons - particularly their 19inch touch screen and keyboard combo thing priced at £450ish - and I reckon they could very well be hitting the £400-500 bracket. Which, on paper at least, is ideal really.


November 17, 2010, 3:15 pm

@Steplh; If you think the most important thing is the price point, I suggest you go to Toys R Us and pick up a fisher price device! :)

While price is obviously an important aspect for this, it's also important that the device works well in both modes, hopefully the tablet interface will be intuitive and be able to access files on the netbook side and vice versa.....

I actually think it looks great and if the usability, reliability, build quality and price are right, then they could be on to a winner.


November 17, 2010, 3:41 pm

Every time I see this I can't help thinking that the tablet configuration looks very, very thick and heavy. And in that sense, what's the difference between a laptop, and a laptop with a touchscreen pasted on the lid? It doesn't look like it does much to condense the form factor.


November 17, 2010, 7:32 pm

I agree with the posters re this still being thick and the price/performance perhaps unlikely to be competitive - this is still just a netbook with a party-trick (flip & touch screen) trying to be both a tablet and netbook, but I suspect with the Atom internals will still be underpowered, thick, heavy and will be underwhelming all round. I still think it is a step in the right direction, but to be really successful it needs:

1) To be half the thickness (look at what new Macbook Air can do)

2) Have a bit more horsepower (pushing laptop standards, not netbook)

3) Have a great touch interface (let us see what they manage)

4) Have great battery life (still expect to be underwhelmed)

5) Be priced as suggested no more than £350

If I could add an additional wish, it would be to have a Pixel Qi Transflective screen to offer near e-book functionality and make it a real all-rounder. Perhaps in the next year we'll start to see some offerings which get closer to ticking all these boxes. In the meantime, I'm going to keep my money for a NotionInk Adam, as I think it looks the most promising, innovative product of these genres for some time. Here's hoping!


November 17, 2010, 7:40 pm

While it's cool and had me excited when I first saw it, what does it actually offer that a standard tablet (like an HP TX or Lenovo X Series) doesn't have? They are tried and trusted machines (often with Wacom tablet layers), whereas this is like a tablet for kids (though not as much as the iPad).

It should be more expensive than an iPad as it offers so much more, but since it's just a netbook with a swivel screen it should be about £400. Shows the crazy profit Apple make.

MS should just make a dumbed down version of Windows, take out 80% of the features and make it more touch friendly and you'll have something comparible to iOS. Computers get dumber by the day and yet we pay more for them, it's strange.


November 17, 2010, 7:52 pm

Very sorry to hear of the loss of your other hand, TR.


November 17, 2010, 7:52 pm

If this tablet is essentially where all the computing components are, then isn't the duo aspect of this device like those cheap poundland Wii accessories that allow you to fit the controller into cheap plastic shells of microphones, guns, steering wheels?

If so, why not just sell the tablet part, and make the keyboard/screen holder an optional accessory?


November 17, 2010, 8:32 pm

@Jacko - True, the usability and build quality are important I agree, but IMO overriding all that is the price. As an example the Galaxy Tablet is a very nice tablet, from reviews it seems to work well and has a good build quality, however it massivly priced itself out of the market

@arctic fox - Agree with you on the Notion ink, I am hoping all the promises being made on the blog come to fruition! So far it is shaping up nicely

@Darkspark88 - Funnily enough, that would be going back to the Toshiba TC100/TC1100 design which came out ages ago where the keyboard/swivel joint can be detached to use it just as a "slate". Good design that IMO


November 18, 2010, 9:36 pm

Looks like I wasnt too shabby with my pricing guess. $550 for basic specs in US, hopefully they can get it under £500 over here.


November 19, 2010, 10:52 pm

I imagine the US price is without tax while the UK pricing is VAT inclusive, so the difference isn't too bad. Given the price everything will depend on how well the spec actually takes the machine above standard netbook fare, and I hope the 2gb RAM will make Win7 an acceptable choice. At the same time arcticfox is being unrealistic asking for all that for less than 350 quid. Still it will be interesting to see whether all the hype around tablets helps this take off. I had one of those old Toshiba convertibles and liked it well enough, but I didn't use it in tablet mode often. I think there are two different markets - people who want a portable device for media consumption but very limited work (tablets) and those who need a portable work device and are not too fussed about the media consumption (netbooks). Proper laptops already serve the needs of those who want both. The Dell's success will depend on its media performance, but if it works then it will compete aggressively against other laptops while making the iPad and its ilk seem overpriced and pointless (that won't stop tablets selling to gadget boys). For the moment though I'll be sticking to my 11.5 inch netbook running Linux Mint.


November 20, 2010, 8:46 pm

Well, looks like we were right not to be too hopeful - for a netbook with a minor party trick, asking for iPad money seems ludicrous (even though the colour options seem pleasant!) I for one will be keeping my cash in my pocket awaiting the Notion Ink which looks better by the day. If they can get the useability right (looks very fresh and promising), quality toward the premium end (some good signs judging by the latest info on screens etc) and make sure their software is tight and as bug free as possible, they SHOULD clean up. Since the early netbooks created a new niche, there really hasn't been anything I've got particularly excited about - latest tablets included given either poor execution or lack of basic features. I hope the Adam really shakes thing up. Oh, and I hope Plastic Logic can somehow get back into the market with some sort of Que successor - if ever there was vapourware that I wish had been real, that was it!!


November 20, 2010, 8:59 pm

@peebee - regarding being unrealistic asking for less than 350 quid - I accept that as a "unique" model, Dell will probably get away with charging a bit more, but the reality is that the "delta" cost over a netbook (many of which I can pick up for 220 quid or less) cannot be justified by the overall difference in spec. As far as I can see, the differences are:

touchscreen - plenty around for not a huge amount more than standard

2-3 extra plastic mouldings or equivalent - minimal given quantities to be produced

One more "frame" element - assume a mass produced casting or equivalent

The rotating hinges

Possibly an innovative connector (though I suspect they have got away with something simple)

How does that justify more than double the price of a standard netbook?? Are there honestly that many gullible people out there? If so, I still have a few chocolate teapots for sale...

Daniel Gerson

November 21, 2010, 6:38 pm

What would be really cool would be if there was an e-ink display on the other side of the screen!!! Especially if you could run the OS using that, even if it had a slow refresh.


November 23, 2010, 11:06 pm

Lots of snobish anti iPad.

Netbook funboyz in here

pathetic really.

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